Top Parenting Hacks

. October 1, 2017.

Bedtimes and potty training and groceries…oh my! Parenting is not for the faint of heart. Often it can be as overwhelming as lions and tigers and bears. We asked local parents for tips on potty training, getting kids to do chores and other common challenges. And Findlay parents, delivered. Settle in and take note of several tricks to make everyday tasks go more smoothly.


Be Prepared on the Go. As a working parent with three kids, Amy Scott stays organized by thinking ahead. “I keep a bag of extra clothes, snacks and drinks in the car just in case,” says Amy.

Additionally, having something on hand to keep kids entertained is key to avoiding meltdowns. “I keep kids’ meal toys and little trinkets like wind-up toys in a little bag in my purse for restaurants and car rides. That way they are new and exciting to the kids and if they get lost no one is sad!” adds Nikki Matheny.

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping
Betsey Watson Mascaro shares the idea of theme nights to make dinner decisions easier. Each night of the week has a different theme, such as Pasta on Sunday, Mexican Monday, Leftover Tuesday, and Breakfast for Dinner Wednesday. “I made up some of the categories to fit what we like and on days that made sense with our schedule. I really didn’t think it would be as helpful as it is, and the kids enjoy it too!” says Betsey.

How about an easier way to grocery shop? “Curbside grocery pick up is a fantastic invention,” says Audrey Kruse. “It’s convenient and saves time, plus it helps from a budgeting standpoint as you don’t buy extras,” she explains. Kroger on Tiffin Avenue offers Kroger Clicklist, which allows you to shop for groceries online and pick them up at the store without leaving your car.

Potty Training
Thanks to a tip from Clarisse Schroeder, potty training on-the-go doesn’t have to be a hassle. “When potty training I put disposable puppy training pads in my boys’ car seats. If they have an accident in their car seat, all I have to do is throw away the puppy pad and put down a new one instead of disassembling and washing the entire car seat!” explains Clarisse.

Laura Fagan found the perfect alarm clock for tackling bedtime. “As soon as our oldest got his first big boy bed we put a stoplight alarm clock in his bedroom. We have used that clock with all three boys and have never had any problems putting them to bed. We turn on the red stoplight after prayers. You can set the green light to turn on whenever you want them to get up,” says Laura. Several products work similarly with “ok to wake” signals for children who cannot tell time.


Chores: Give them Visuals
Young kids can do chores, too! “Before the older two could read I printed out pictures of their morning chores and some additional chores as well. I laminated them, put a magnet on the back, and placed them on a dry erase board on the side of the counter,” explains Kristin Sharpe, mother of four. Have them complete their chores before breakfast or before play time to keep them on track.

What are your parenting hacks? We would love to hear them to share in a future issue of Findlay Area Family. Send your tips and tricks to or on Facebook “Findlay Area Family.”